Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1624: Factory Engraved/Chromed Walther PP, 'hH' Initialed w/SS Runes

Auction Date: May 4, 2019

Historic World War II Trophy Early Production Factory Presentation Engraved Walther Model PP Semi-Automatic Pistol Decorated with SS and Germanic Pagan Motifs and "HH" Initials, Attributed to Chief of the SS, Heinrich Himmler

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $150,000 - $250,000

Historic World War II Trophy Early Production Factory Presentation Engraved Walther Model PP Semi-Automatic Pistol Decorated with SS and Germanic Pagan Motifs and "HH" Initials, Attributed to Chief of the SS, Heinrich Himmler

Manufacturer: Walther
Model: PP
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 7.65 mm auto
Barrel: 3 3/4 inch round
Finish: chrome
Grip: plastic
Item Views: 10263
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 332
Class: Curio & Relic Handgun

According to information supplied by the consignors, this Walther PP was acquired by Private First Class John DeGeorge of Recon Company, 813th Tank Destroyer Battalion, who brought it and the included sleeve home from Europe at the end of his tour. Unfortunately, the story behind when where and how this pistol was liberated has been lost to history. By tradition from the consignor Private John DeGeorge was the second lucky American G.I. to have this spectacular Walther in his possession as he was said to have won it in a poker game. Apparently, Private John DeGeorge became quite popular after winning this pistol and it was only with the help of a NCO that he was able to safely bring home this ultimate symbol of allied victory! The 813th, self-described as "the Moving-est Battalion in World War II" in a post-VE Day roster, formed up in 1941 at Fort Bragg and departed for Britain in 1942. Among other distinctions, the 813th saw combat in Tunisia and Sicily, arrived in France via Utah Beach on D+21, fought at La Haye du Puits and the Falaise Gap, crossed the Seine and Rhine rivers, and then participated in the Occupation of Germany. To quote the roster, "Another long road march through the bomb-wrecked cities of Cologne and Frankfurt, brought it down south into the Alps and Hitler's redoubt area to and beyond Berchtesgaden and finally, V-E Day". Both the pistol and the sleeve were retained by the soldier and subsequently his family until it's consignment, making it completely fresh to the market. In features and markings, it is an early Walther PP, with a set of "crown/N" proofmarks, a matching numbered slide, and the early 90 degree safety. Excluding some blued small parts, the pistol is finished in chrome for both an eye catching bright appearance and a strong resistance to corrosion, a unique, seldom encountered special order feature on Walther's pistols. Much of the surface is covered in fine engraving, with dense punch-backed oak leaf motifs, zig-zag and punch dot borders, checkerboard panels on the trigger guard and butt, and other details. The magazine is in flat base configuration, both finished and engraved to match the pistol, with the initials "FK" added to the spine just below the feed lips. Most of this decoration is fairly typical of factory work, with three upgraded factory enhancements. Two are on the upper left side of the slide, a pair of circular motifs measuring about a half inch in diameter, featuring a "sunwheel" pattern rounded swastika on the left and a pair of "sig" runes on the right. The runes need little introduction, being permanently associated with the Schutzstaffel. The "sunwheel" is most famously associated with the Luftwaffe and seen on their sidearms but was also used as a symbol by German neo-pagan elements such as the German Faith Movement (Deutsche Glaubensbewegung), as well as the SS's own efforts to create what they saw as a replacement for Christianity in Germany. On the back strap, set into a deeply textured panel, is the monogram "hH". No documentation on the identity of "hH" was included by the consignor, though the presence of SS and German neo-pagan symbols is highly suggestive, if not proof beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they are for Heinrich Himmler, chief of the SS. A military cadet at the end of World War I, Himmler got into radical politics after the Treaty of Versailles ended his military career before it could start, and the economic chaos of the Weimar Republic ruined his attempts to achieve a doctorate in agricultural studies, signing up with Rohm's SA and participating in Beer Hall Putsch. It was also about that time that he abandoned Catholicism in favor of Germanic myth, a branch of interest and study that would later lead to the adoption and repurposing of old runic symbols for the party as a whole and especially for the SS. This historic pistol exemplifies that symbolism Himmler is documented in believing! Additionally, the path PFC DeGeorge took through the war would have given him the opportunity to take a prize related to Himmler (and no Allied trooper was ever lacking for motive when it came to taking a sweet-looking war trophy). Berchtesgaden was the chosen mountain retreat of the Nazis as a whole and Hitler's inner circle especially, often serving as a de-facto second capital of the Third Reich. In addition to being the location of Hitler's famed "Berghof", many top-tier party members had homes in the region, Himmler himself having claimed the vacation home of the late and famous psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud.

Rating Definition:

Excellent, with 98% plus original factory chrome finish, showing a small amount of flaking at the muzzle, a few small dark spots and some extremely light handling marks. The grips are very fine, with a crack in the left panel running parallel to the left edge, as well as a few dents and scuffs. Mechanically excellent. The Included sleeve is constructed from floral pattern cloth, with a simple drawstring closure. The sleeve is in very good condition, with some minor wear, small holes, and light stains.

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